Thursday, June 28, 2007
The Write Time for a Vacation
It is tough to hold a day job and finish writing a sequel. So I decided on impulse to just go somewhere inspiring and speed up my sequel (tentatively called Married But Available)
The places were all spread out over the state of Himachal Pradesh in the northern parts of India.
I started with थानेदार Thanedhar - the place where Mr Stokes planted Himachal's first apple। It was Shatabdi Express from Delhi to Chandigarh and then drove from there. The route was breathtakingly beautiful. I loved the sight of the Sutlej River (see photo) as it cleared the mountains away to continue its journey. Samuel Stokes (1882-1946) came to India (specifically Simla) on a trip from Philadelphia and settled down in Kotgarh which is a stone's - maybe a Stokes throw away - for those of you who like cheap puns.
I drove from Simla शिमला to Thanedhar (1830m). And the place lives upto its reputation. I was very excited initially and photographed the first few sightings of green apples (actually the variety is called Red Delicious) but soon realized that there were millions of those trees. Himachal must be the "Fruit Bowl of India". Right through the journey I saw apples, pears and the occasional cherry orchards. The place I stayed in was bang in the middle of an apple orchard. If I had known that I would saved myself the trouble of clicking every apple tree that saw along the way.
A vacation really recharges the soul and this place was just the right place. I am not the trekking kind. I know I will offend those of you who go to a place like Thanedhar and get up at the crack of dawn (whats that?) and wear your sneakers and put on your backpacks. To you I say, thats just the right thing to do... but no thank you I won't join you. I will just sit on the balcony and sip the nth cup of tea (from the Kangra Valley) and stare at the beautiful sight ahead. Please note the apple trees in the foreground and the mountain ranges in various shades of blue fading away into the horizon.
I just parked myself on the balcony of my room and stared at the valley and pecked away on my laptop. It was such a liberating feeling to not be bothered by phones and emails and to just stay with the characters of my novel... getting to know them better!
And now for a collage of the beautiful flowers of Thanedhar including the Blue Iris.
And if you thought this was pretty... then wait for the next post about Sojha, or is it Shoja?